A strategic approach to ad design can help you keep your marketing strategy on track. This is how.
Many people confuse marketing with advertising. In truth, marketing is the process of promoting products or services and includes processes such as branding, market research and advertising.
Advertising is the creation of advertisements that help potential customers discover a product. Of course, while effective advertising can’t be achieved without a marketing strategy in place, specifically answers to the following questions:
- What is your brand/product/service?
- Who is your target audience?
- What are the main marketing channels?
- What are the main messages you wish to convey?
- What are your marketing objectives (sales, brand awareness, community building, etc.)?
You should also make sure to determine your short vs long-term marketing objectives, which will also help you create ad design that supports these goals. Here’s why ad design is important for your marketing strategy with ideas on how it can help you improve your overall marketing efforts.
Create brand awareness
How many times have you remembered a product or service thanks to a memorable ad? Whether it’s a TV ad slogan that stays remembered for decades (Whazup), or iconic print designs like the “Got Milk” campaign, a creative ad can really help people remember your brand in a sea of competitors.
There are 4 main stages of brand awareness that you should know about:
- Brand recall: people are able to remember the brand name in a specific product category.
- Brand recognition: people are able to remember a brand name, when presented with visual or auditory stimuli, such as logos, colors, jingles, etc.
- Top of mind: the brand name is the first or one of the first to come to people’s minds in a specific product category.
- Brand dominance: the brand becomes synonymous with the product.
The point of effective ad design is to help your customers reach the stage where your brand is the only one that matters for them in a particular category—for example, you don’t go out to buy a “soda” when you want one, you always know you’re buying Coke.
Ad design should enforce a sense of brand identity, and help create a brand image in your customers’ minds.
A great example from the world of digital marketing is Neil Patel. Although this marketing guru’s rise to prominence is thanks to a stellar content marketing strategy, you can still see just how important ad design is, even in this case.
From website design to YouTube thumbnails, all the marketing assets have strong visual consistency. The color scheme and style are instantly recognizable, as well as the brand’s “face (Neil himself) which is an integral part of the ad design.
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You’ve heard that a “picture is worth a thousand words”, but did you know that people remember 80% of what they see compared to just 20% of what they read?
You can see why something like this is a critical piece of information for designing marketing materials. Of course, copywriting is important, but without good design, it’s highly unlikely that people will remember your message.
That’s where great design comes in. This ad for an ice cream brand is so effective it literally didn’t require any copy. The message that the ice cream is so good you’d never allow yourself to drop it is something universally recognizable and therefore very powerful.
Pop culture references are also a good way to attract your audience’s attention. These simple and effective ads were created by a creative agency to spread awareness on covid prevention measures. While my grandma would easily understand the ice cream ad above, she probably wouldn’t get the references with these ones. A visual language is therefore also a way to create a connection with your target audience, by making references they will understand.
This creates a bond between the audience and the brand, which will be beneficial as prospects move down your sales funnel.
One of the main reasons why businesses run ad campaigns is to boost their sales. Whether it’s a limited-time offer or a launch of a new product, a well-designed ad can really help you convert leads into paying customers.
Here are a few tips on how to make ad design work for your sales strategy:
- Include a high-quality product shot if applicable.
- Use bright colors: of course, this isn’t applicable for every industry or brand, but generally bright colors inspire more powerful and positive feelings.
- Don’t overdo it with contrasts or all caps lettering: while it’s important to attract attention, being too on the nose about it might make people think your ads seem aggressive and discourage them from making a purchase.
- Don’t use stock photos: custom design shows you care about your customers.
- State your value proposition clearly: instead of just claiming your products are the best, make sure the message of how they make people’s lives better.
- Include a clear call to action: this is where the knowledge of design principles such as contrast or hierarchy is helpful.
- Use varied design: don’t run the same ad on all your marketing platforms; adjust ad design to suit the target audience and test out a few different options.
Of course, it goes without saying that even the best-designed ad is unlikely to drive major conversions if there is no good branding in place. You might get a couple of payments, but without a clear sense of brand identity, there can be no long-term success.
Make sure that you know what your brand is about and who your target audience is, before you start making choices on the design elements we mentioned above.
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Drive web traffic
You probably know that SEO is critical to ensure that your website ranks high in search engines. Search engine optimization encompasses several different aspects including:
- Using the right keywords
- Making sure loading speed is fast
- Getting backlinks to your site
Another key aspect of a high-performing website or landing page is web design. A great user experience will entice people to stay on your page longer and therefore decrease your bounce rate. It’s also connected to technical optimization as well, for example, you need to ensure that images and videos are optimized for web use so as not to slow down your site.
Of course, another non-organic way to drive traffic to your web page is paid ads. Here are a few eye-opening stats:
- Google Display Network reaches a whopping 94% of internet users (Wordstream)
- Digital ads are predicted to make 56.1% of total ad spending in 2021 (eMarketer)
- Native ads receive 53% more views and increase purchase intent by 18% (eMarketer)
Native ads are display ads placed in a relevant context so that they are more likely related to the users’ interests and intentions. Of course, aside from content, native ad design is really important to help people identify relevant information quickly.
Need great ad design?
Businesses need ad design on a rolling basis, and often it’s not possible to simply reuse old ads. Design needs to be aligned with your marketing strategy and help you reach a specific goal.
If you need quality design at an affordable monthly price, be sure to check out our service. Most ad designs will usually take just 1-2 business days to complete, so you can launch a great ad campaign in no time